Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday 29.11: Sprints + metcon

Friday. Sprints 10 x 200m, work:rest ratio 1:1. Metcon, 5rds of: 8 over the box burpees with 15kg db's, 10 ring dips, 12 t2b. Time 14.32

Pauliina is celebrating pre-Christmas party with some colleagues. That means one thing. I have no rush and therefore my training sessions tend to extend longer than normally. First I went running for sprints, then headed to the gym to work on cardio through a metcon. A bit different moves to get more variation to the workouts. Ended the session with lots of mobility.


  • 10 x 200m run
  • 1:1 work / rest ratio

It was nice to go for a run after a long break. Running in general is not one of my faves but it's definitely something everyone should be doing. I don't like the jogging at all, it feels like useless stuff but running in a metcon or doing sprints / intervals are beneficial for sure. This time I had the possibility to go for a place near my work, just 5min warm-up run up there, then some activation in my body, then it was time to start working. As you see from the picture below, the place was not covered with lights so I ran in the darkness. It was a genuine Rocky feeling. Friday night, no lights in sight, just a man and his sneakers =) I did the sprints 100m back and forth, total of 200m, then took a short rest, I counted 30 inhales, and it was time to go for another one. Total of 10 sets, it felt much better than I thought beforehand.

My track this evening :)

Metcon. Time 14.32

  • 5 rounds of:
  • 8 over the box burpees with 15kg dumbbells both hands
  • 10 ring dips
  • 12 toes-to-bar

A new movement was introduced to Don's life. I saw the "Invitational" document just a while ago, if you missed it see the video from this post. They did a movement called burpee over the box. Holding dumbbells in both hands simultaneously the athlete was supposed to go over the box, no need to straighten to full extension, just go over the box with the dumbbells. Then perform a burpee, hit chest to deck and come back over the box. I wanted to try this one out as well.

Pull-ups at the train station

For some reason ring dips seem to go past my memory, I'd like to do them but I kind of forget them constantly. It would be vital for me to complete them because they're not my strength. Toes-to-bar movement is simply beneficial, always!

Those burpees were awful. They sucked my juice all the way. Going over a box wasn't as smooth as I had foreseen it in my mind. Kind of a clumsy crawling over the barrier. I performed well with the ring dips, unbroken for the first 4 rounds. The first movement put pressure on forearms as there was tension in the hands constantly. T2b's were the "easiest" part of this one. Not that it would have been a walk in the park. My body felt a bit tired after the sprints so this wasn't an all-in version of a metcon.

The biggest news in the crossfit world today is the fact that Tony the Pony has opened his own blog! =) I've been anticipating this day for a long time and finally he made the decision couple of days ago. Didn't take too long to make a post. He's writing in finnish so all the finnish readers go and take a look at the mister's first touch in the blog scene:

Previous champs: Mikko Salo and Graham Holmberg on a pair metcon, looking good guys

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thursday 28.11: Front squats, jerks, snatch

Thursday. Front squat 6x2, split jerk 6x2, snatch emom.

Heavy-ish day barbell-wise. Front squats and split jerks were the strength part of the day and squat snatches were more like a high-rep technique style training. I wanted to get lots of reps there to work on my form and bottom position. It worked as some sort of light metcon as well.

Helsinki was sunny and beautiful in the morning :)

Squats. Front squats 6x2 (100, 110, 115, 120, 122.5, 125kg). This felt good. Haven't gone up on the weights with front squats lately so this was a good reminder that I can bear weights around 120kg any day. Currently my max is 130kg and it's vital to get these kilos up if I want to get my clean numbers up as well. I've been focusing more on back squats in October / November. I took a couple of videos from the lifts, take a look below.


I stayed confident with the bar and was able to carry the weight up to 122.5kg. The next stop was at 125kg which I took as a single rep. It was such a tough one that the second one would probably have stayed down.


Split jerks. Split jerks 6x2 (70, 80, 82.5, 85, 87.5, 80kg). How cool would it be to be able to drop the weights after having done the reps. Plus, I would have dared to go further, 90kg and beyond with a proper place. Today I worked around 80+ weights. I did all these reps as split jerks and it felt like I was dominating the bar on those attempts. My core was tight and the bar stayed where it needed to stay.


Around christmas time I'm gonna have two weeks off from work and I'm definitely going to find a place to work on my oly lifts for sure. Clean & jerks, split jerks, snatches and overhead squats are going to be in the focus for me. Those moments when I get to go to these places are spectacular. The feeling is high and focus is right there. Looking forward to that!


Hang squat snatch. Emom,

  • 5 reps @ 30kg, for 5min, 1min rest
  • 5 reps @ 35kg, for 5min, 1min rest
  • 5 reps @ 40kg, for 5min

The weights were light, on purpose. There were plenty of repetitions and time to work on the explosiveness on hang squat snatch as well as good landing form proper depth on the squat and basically feeling natural on the bottom position. Normally I do my hang snatches from pocket level. Today I lowered the bar just above knees and tried to get some elevation on the bar. Felt actually quite natural.

The weights - even with them being light - were good this time. Had I wanted it to be tough, surely I would have increased the weights. However, there were a total of 60 reps and it was somehow a slight cardio work as well because of the emom-style workout. I liked the way of how it turned out, got to try this style with some other movement as well. Maybe cleans would be perfect for me. Lots of reps, starting at rather light, increasing little by little, finally having very tough reps.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wednesday 27.11: Hspu and rowing / bodyweight metcon

Wednesday. Strength, 4 sets of handstand push-ups. Metcon, 3rds of: 500m row, 10 hspu, 20 pull-ups, 30 du. Time 15.39

Last two days were plenty of work to be done. Hero workout to start the week and yesterday was a bar complex and lots of cleans were done to get upper back activated properly. Today's strength work was handstand push-ups and I wanted to get that movement involved in the metcon as well so it turned out to be quite a bodyweight workout indeed.

Strength. 4 sets of handstand push-ups (8+8+8+7). The point of this one was to do strict handstand push-ups. On the first set I did 8 strict hspu's, that seemed to be the limit. The movement is totally different from a kipping hspu. Same as with strict pull-ups and kipping pull-ups. Strict version is way more taxing on the upper body. I was thinking about doing 4 sets of strict reps. However, on the second round I got 6 reps in a row and decided to do 2 kipping to reach the same total amount of reps as on the first attempt.

On the third set I got 5 strict reps and as the last one was so tough I decided to kip the rest of them to reach 8 total reps. The last set was 4 strict reps and there I made a focus mistake and dropped from the wall after a total of 7 reps. So this was mostly a strict handstand push-up workout for shoulder strength added with some kipping reps.

Metcon. Time 15.39

  • 3 rounds of:
  • 500m row
  • 10 handstand push-ups
  • 20 pull-ups
  • 30 double unders

After strength portion - that really put some pressure on my shoulders in a good way - I was ready to start working on my metabolic condition. Didn't rest more than a minute as I sat on the rower and began pulling the strokes. The rounds were quite long in nature so there were only 3 rounds in the metcon. As you see from below in the picture, the rounds were about between 4:30 and 5:40. The total time was @ 15.39, it just took me some seconds to stop the clock running.

Took me couple of seconds to pause the clock, checked the time at 15.39.

On the rower I kept a pace at 1:50 on average for those 3 rounds. Went a bit faster on the first one though. Hspu's went unbroken on the first round, the last 2 rounds were 7+3reps. Total of 60+ reps today really had its effect on my upper body. Later on Pauliina knew I had been doing this movement because my eyes were slightly reddish… You know those small blood veins or something. It sometimes happens when handstand walking or doing lots of hspu's. Basically the reality that you're inverted and have to struggle to catch a breath at the same time. Still, I love that!

Pull-ups went unbroken, nice! Had no doubts about doing it for the first round. Slightly skeptical for the second round going ub but as it did, I decided I'll do the same trick on the last round. Last reps were burning my wings but I didn't let that bother me, just keep on moving mister. Double unders have evolved to a level where I like what I see. My torso is upright, legs are together and it's not that taxing anymore. I'm gonna further put some more work on this skill to master it even better. Good workout!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday 26.11: Clean complex

Tuesday. 10 sets of the following clean complex: 2 power clean, 2 squat clean, 2 front squats. Most sets at 80kg.

Today it was all about cleans. Just old school barbell work. Complexes are a genius way to build up strength and muscular endurance with heavier weights. Grip strength is a crucial part of a successful complex. Definitely worth doing these type of training!

Clean complex.

  • 10 sets of the following complex:
  • 2 power cleans
  • 2 squat cleans
  • 2 front squats
  • 1x60kg, 1x70kg, 8x80kg
This workout was a quicker one, concentrating in strength. The weight is 80% of my 1rm clean. The idea was to do 2 power cleans, 2 squat clean and 2 front squats with one grip, you're not supposed to re-grip at any point. Classical complex stuff. It's taxing on the forearms and grip. Well okay, I started to feel it on my legs as well.

I took the first set at 60kg, the second at 70kg, and the rest of the sets at 80kg. I wasn't sure how many sets I would be doing today. Originally I had thought about doing something like 6 sets but it felt good and we were short on time with Pauliina so I wasn't able to complete a metcon so I lengthened the number of sets to 10 complexes.

The 80kg barbell started to feel heavy, got to say that. Still, I had no problems getting the reps done. I feel like the weight was correct. Definitely not any lighter. I was thinking about going for 85kg but I think this was good for today. Yesterday was a tough day with a hero workout in program. This was a good complex, I seem to love 'em!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday 25.11: Squats and hero workout Bradshaw

Monday. Back squats 3-3-3 (max 130kg). Hero workout Bradshaw. Time 22.43.

Couldn't let the hero workout be left alone, had to attack it. This was the one I was talking about yesterday. It's been tickling in my mind for the last couple of days and I didn't want to postpone it to the future. But, I had a dilemma. I wanted to do squats! Don't wanna skip them at all, have to do them 2-3 times a week. My legs have to become stronger and obviously they have already come. I'm still looking to get stronger on my lower body because that eases each and every movement.

Strength. Back squats 3-3-3 (120, 130, 130kg). It rolled well and it felt very good! Took some warm-up lifts @ 60, 80 and 100kg to get properly ready for the heavier squats. Usually I've put 110kg before adding it to 120kg. It was no problem to skip that and jump straight to 120kg. My squat form and technique was good in all lifts and the package stayed tight all the way. It's very promising I'm able to complete those 130kg sets without problems. It's heavy, no doubt but not too heavy. It would have been awesome to continue doing more heavy sets but there was a hero workout just around the corner. Usually I would have done just a hero wod but the last 2 days were easier ones so I wanted to do both strength and the wod.

Hero workout Bradshaw. Time 22.43. Compare to 4.5.2013.
  • 10 rounds of:
  • 3 handstand push-ups
  • 6 deadlifts, 102.5kg
  • 12 pull-ups
  • 24 double unders

That's a long one and lots of repetitions. It looks okay on paper and I really didn't feel the pain before the workout. I once again thought beforehand this would have been lighter than it actually was. It was a tough one. The handstand push-ups weren't bad, look at the number of reps. Just 30 reps in total, and only 3 reps at a time. Also, the deads were about 50% of my one rep max and the barbell was moving nicely.

Ben Smith doing a 136kg snatch

The most difficult part of the workout was the pull-ups. Doing sets of 10-12 reps shouldn't be that difficult but considering the amount of all the other work, all the other movements, it started to become heavier and heavier. The last rounds were kind of a struggle. Still, I got them unbroken till the end. I can see I've done more double unders this month than normally. The focus has been on the form and I've been trying to do them as effortless as possible, straight torso, not that high a jump, keeping the rope moving at a steady pace. I did all but 1 rounds unbroken. On that specific round I did 21 reps ub and then did a miss. That was the only stumbling during the entire wod, I finished all other movements unbroken during those 22-23 minutes.

This was about a 6 minute PR in Bradshaw. I've done it once before half a year ago and it can definitely be seen my metabolic condition has improved. That time was cut off basically from the transitions / rest periods. Of course it helps that the barbell felt lighter and the hspu's were easier as well because there's more strength now in my shoulders. It's no surprise that strength makes it easier to keep on moving in such workouts.

Rich answering to questions concerning his training methods

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday 24.11: Skills

Sunday. Skills, 50 strict pull-ups, 50 toes-to-bar, handstand skills.

I had one hero workout in mind for today, Bradshaw. I've done it once - this May - before and it's about time to do it again, looks good on paper. I looked the video from the first attempt and read the stories I wrote. It looks good and it seems there's some time to be cut off. Anyway, this Sunday was more like active rest, quite a relaxed day, I'll go after Bradshaw some other day. We drove to the in-laws, changed the winter tires on our car, ate well, and then did some pull-up bar stuff with Pauliina's papa.

Christmas is getting closer!

  • 50 strict pull-ups
  • 50 toes-to-bar
  • Handstand skills

It was harmless skills training that took place today. Nothing serious, just playing with the pull-up bar. Since I learned how to kip I've been doing my pull-ups with some variation of kipping pull-ups. Last couple of days I've been doing some occasional strict pull-ups and enjoyed it. Today I did 50 strict reps of which 40 were palms facing away, and 10 reps palms facing me. Did all these in sets of 10 reps. It was an eye-opener to realize the difference between the 2 styles - kipping and strict. There are from different planets.

After that I took 50 reps of t2b in sets of 10, trying to do as little kip / swing as possible. That means I took them as strict as I was capable of. In the end I did something I haven't done in at least a month: handstand. As you've probably seen in the videos this week, it's getting extremely dark in Finland after 4pm so there was no light in sight. It was awkward to do handstand so I dropped it quite soon because it was difficult to perceive the landscape and how my body fits in all that. I believe this lighter day pays off - at least I hope so - as I've been working continuously for a month without a rest. Yesterday was a rest day and today as easier so my muscles got the recovery time to grow and they are better prepared for the upcoming week.

Saturday 23.11: Rest day

Saturday. Rest day.

Today is a chilling day. We had a great day at work, the employer had organized a full day of action for us. It's been a rough month and rest has been minimal so it was time to let the shorts dry out a little and enjoy the show today / tonight. Great day!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thursday 22.11: Bench metcon + kb metcon

Thursday. Metcon, 50 bench press (75kg). For every racking, perform 30 air squats. Couple of hours later. Metcon, 4 rounds of: 5/5 kb clean and jerk, 15 kb swings, 15 goblet squats. Kettlebell 2 pood (32kg).

Time for the monthly bench press workout. I've did something like this earlier as well. Today it was high-rep semi-heavy bench metcon with a spice of squatting between bench. I went home, ate well, dropped Pauliina to see her friend, then wore some shorts on again and went to back yard to complete another metcon with kettlebells. Then it was time for the fourth warm meal of the day. I'm a hungry guy.

50 bench for time

Metcon. Time 15.09.

  • 50 bench press @ 75kg
  • Every time you rack the barbell, perform 30 air squats for penalty

The essence in this workout was to get a lot of repetitions at semi-heavy weights. This is about 75% of my max load. I got 10 reps on the first attempt, then 8, 6 and the rest were between 4-5 reps till the end. Every time I had to put the barbell back on the rack, I did 30 air squats and burnt my quads. This was more stressful on muscles than on breathing / metabolic condition. That's because there was a "compulsory" recovery break between the movements. I had to get some strength back on my chest / shoulders / triceps before taking another attempt on the bench.

It took me a total of 9 sets and 8x30 air squat penalties to finish the workout. That's over 3.5k bench in rather short time domain. I'm happy I got the reps done stylishly with a 75kg bar. That's heaviest I've done in high rep bench metcons.

Those squats started to make my legs feel sorry for themselves. There were 240 reps in total. The most difficult thing was to complete 30 reps in a row. About 20 reps can always be done unbroken. Adding 10 reps to that doesn't sound much but it certainly feels in lower body. It burnt my legs a lot. This 50 bench type of workout is a nice way to incorporate bench press into metcons as well. I originally took influence of this one from Blair Morrison's blog "Anywherefit". He's got some pretty spectacular workouts there.

Metcon. Approximately 12.30.

  • 4 rounds of:
  • 5/5 kettlebell clean & jerks, 32kg
  • 15 kettlebell swings, 32kg
  • 15 goblet squats, 32kg

Uuh mama. Looks simple, feels awful. Those goblet squats just don't feel good. I had my 2 pood kettlebell (equals to 32kg), and that's pretty much all I need for an exhausting workout. The first workout of the day concentrated more on the strength aspect so this one was more on the metabolic side of fitness. Clean & jerk with kb, then swings and finally goblet squats. That's basically a front squat, just hold the kb upside down at your chest. I did 5 c&j's both hands.

Hey c'mon, it's 7 p.m. in Finland and you can't see shit, it's the darkest time of the year as you can see :)

I was thinking about doing a 10min amrap, didn't want to stress about the minutes or rounds when I started. During the workout I realized the reps are gonna stay too low in 10 minutes so I finished 4 rounds in about 12.30. My time got slower towards the end, it got tougher on both my breathing and strength. I call this a training day, versatile stuff, body got what it hungers every day: hard work and dedication.

Impressive and consistent work from both Miranda Oldroyd and Garret Fisher on benchmark workout Fran

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thursday 21.11: Rowing metcon

Thursday. Metcon, row 1.000-800-600-400-200, du's 100-80-60-40-20, burpees 10-8-6-4-2. Time 23.28.

Bodyweight stuff. My body was very tired yesterday and I couldn't get the best out of me. Felt better today and wanted to hit it hard on the metabolic conditioning. Rowing is always a killer in a metcon or in intervals. The movement itself is perfect for increasing cardio and metabolic abilities. I combined 3 different movements that all hit the same goal: heavy breathing.

Time was 23.28.

Metcon. Time 23.28
  • 1.000-800-600-400-200m row
  • 100-80-60-40-20 double unders
  • 10-8-6-4-2 burpees

Descending ladder of the three above mentioned movements. It totals for 3k rowing, 300 double unders and 30 burpees. Afterwards, I'd like like to modify the workout so that burpees would have been something more than another heavy breather =) It would have been nice to have one movement being something else than putting lungs to their limits. It could have been a movement that would have required more muscle work for example. Still, this was an awesome workout and worked perfectly for the purpose I designed it for!

Rowing 3.000m leaves me always wondering what the heck just happened. It's such an overall juice-sucker movement that it forces me to have some break within the workout. It's very difficult for me to keep on moving if there's rowing included. It's challenging to start doing the double unders within seconds of hitting the distance on the rowing machine. The first 1k was easy and pretty fast, I think the pace was around 1.43. On the 800m and 600m my pace was a bit slower, then towards the end I was able to pick it up and the last 200m can be called a sprint.

On the double unders my strategy was to finish the first set in 4 sets, and I got that, about 25 reps at once. Same with the 80's, I did something like 4x20 reps. The most difficult was the round of 60's. At first I did 30 reps, then for some reason it was difficult to finish the last 30 reps, I guess I did them in 10's. Then it helped tremendously and I got the round of 40's unbroken, same on the last round.

Burpees, not bad, there were just couple of them per round. Still, this would have been nice to replace with some movement that doesn't take your breath away totally. Having three this type of movements combined forced me to take occasional breaks and the transitions took some time. All in all, this was a good workout and I got what I wanted. Tomorrow's gonna focus on both strength and conditioning.

Take a look at one spectacular way to do snatches. By the champ himself

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wednesday 20.11: Snatch complex, snatch pull

Wednesday. Snatch complex, 6 sets of: 2 power snatch, 2 squat snatch, 2 overhead squats. Strength, snatch pull 5x5 (max 80kg).

Today was reserved for snatch training. I can't say it's strength training as such but more like technique work. There's a lot of work to be done before I can claim it as strength work. Anyway, I wanted lots of reps so I ended up doing a complex. Felt very tired in my upper body today and therefore didn't get the best out of it at all. I was thinking about hitting heavier weights on the snatches but that wasn't possible this time. That's why I finished it off with snatch pull training.

Snatch complex. 6 sets @ 40kg.
  • 2 power snatch
  • 2 squat snatch
  • 2 overhead squats

This sounded like a perfect plan for my technique training. I wasn't satisfied with the way I performed today. As I just described it's difficult to do snatches for strength as I need to keep the weights moderate. Especially when doing squat snatches. That's a bit awkward my power snatch is heavier than squat snatch. It should obviously be the other way around. That's the reason I'm working towards improving my hip mobility and upper back mobility to find the squat snatch position more comfortable and natural. After the complex I took couple of 50kg snatches, then dropped it and decided to work on my snatch pull.

Snatch pull. 5x5 (50, 70, 70, 80, 70kg). This might actually be quite a good idea to work on occasionally. You can stack more plates on the barbell and practice on the first and second pull. Idea is not to go under the bar at all, just go until the shrug stage. I felt good about this one. And believe me, that 70kg bar felt light after having went for 80kg. That might be a good plan to do couple of heavy snatch pulls before doing actual snatch training. What do you think?

Impressive lifts in there

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tuesday 19.11: Eccentric squats and a chipper

Tuesday. Eccentric squats 3x8 (105-110kg). Chipper, 20 hspu, 30 pistols, 40 burpees, 50 pull-ups.

Squats! Went for eccentric version of back squats, slowly getting down there and then normally back up. This was the name of the game this Tuesday. That pretty much sucked all my juice as I felt there wasn't much left when I started my metcon, which was a chipper of 4 different bodyweight movements. Squats went well, then I was worn out on the metcon.

Strength. Eccentric squats 3x8 (105, 110, 110kg). This was the heaviest combination I've had this far. I've taken these slow-mo squats either 3 or 4 sets for 8 reps each set. The weights have been varying between 100 and 110kg. This was the first time I didn't do any set @ 100kg, instead jumped a bit forward. Small step but the difference is obvious. I can feel it right away if there's 100 or 110kg.

I was able to maintain a solid form on the squats. As Toni said my knees are pointing out properly. Maybe it's because there's enough time to think about it when it takes about 3 sec to get down in the hole. When you're not rushing, you can adjust the hip and knees to the way they should be.

The weights were perfect for today. I felt good squatting today and the barbell was as heavy as I needed it to be. It's nice to see my legs have become stronger and strength base is increasing. Legs are the place everything starts from so it's important I get them to the next level.

Chipper. Time 9.54

  • 20 handstand push-ups
  • 30 pistol squats
  • 40 burpees
  • 50 pull-ups

I was very tired on my lower and upper body already when entering the metcon. This chipper style is quite different from a regular 5-rounder. There's plenty of reps of 1 movement at once. You have to perform those before you are able to move forward. I thought I would have nailed the hspu's in 2 sets, something like 12+8 but for some awkward reason my shoulders were fatigued already in the beginning. It got very sticky and took me couple of sets to finish them.

Same with pretty much all the movements, I was slower completing them and they felt more challenging than normally. I thought I would chip this through in just a couple of minutes but it took me plenty of time. With a fresh body this could be done so much faster. On the pull-ups I did 15 on the first set, then about 10's till the end.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday 18.11: Heavy cleans, metcon

Monday. Clean, 1 rep every 30 seconds @ 90kg, for 10 minutes. Metcon, 6 rounds of: 4 power clean (70kg), 25 du, 8 t2b. Time 9.54

Clean is something I simply love. Haven't been going heavy lately so this day was one I wanted to hit it hard. Lots of heavy cleans with short intervals. It was a good mixture of strength and metabolic. The day was all cleans. My metcon included power cleans, double unders and some core work. Felt awesome after training!

Strength. Total of 20 reps.
  • Clean, 1 rep every 30 seconds @ 90kg, for 10 minutes

This weight is 90% of my one rep max load. Completing 20 reps at this weight was a win over physical barriers. It's so close to my max weight it was a positive signal of being able to probably go beyond 100kg, some day. This was mentally a big thing. I felt like a king after having done this workout. I took one extra rep right after the workout, take a look at the video below.

I believe my form was pretty good. The starting position was solid, back straight, chest upright, proper shrug on the shoulders and quick drop under the barbell, elbows straight ahead, good depth on the squat, knees out. The side I should be working on is the timing on the second pull. Trying to keep my hands straight, pulling the barbell as high as possible, aiming to bounce the bar from the pocket. The most important thing in this workout was that even though it was a heavy load, all my reps looked the same. There weren't any mistakes or technical issues compromising my form or having troubles catching the bar. It's technically important to have all reps look similar. And I did exactly that!

Metcon. Time 9.54
  • 6 rounds of:
  • 4 power clean, 70kg
  • 25 double unders
  • 8 toes-to-bar

Wanted to put upper back to work even more. There was a good number of power cleans as well in the metcon, that was 70kg on the bar. The two other movements were carefully chosen. I want to do double unders to keep improving my technique to be more efficient. Also t2b's are something I'm always looking to get better at.

At first I was thinking about not even putting the clock running. Then, I thought it's better put that on to know at least approximately how long it would take to finish it. I had something like 2 minutes rest between workouts. Just adjusted the weights and started working on this one. There was a 10m distance between the barbell and pull-up bar, that took me some time every round walking around the gym.

I got through this workout unbroken on every movement. Especially those double unders made me happy. Not only that they went unbroken but more like the form I was able to keep on the jumps. My focus was having legs as straight as possible all the time.

Power cleans went perfectly, same with the toes-to-bar. There could have been some more t2b's, it was too easy. My plan when writing this wod was to define the rep amounts so that I would be going unbroken all the time. There could have still been more reps per round. I would have went ub anyway. It felt like I manhandled the barbell pretty well today.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday 17.11: Fran

Sunday. Benchmark workout Fran. Time 3.28.

NICE! This is the one, the one and only for me. The one I love and the one I hate. Maybe more of the latter one =) The relationship is awkward towards this one. I know I must repeat this after a couple of months and see how my metabolic condition has improved. Still, I wouldn't like to go for it because the feeling afterwards is disgusting. I'd prefer doing a half an hour hero workout instead of Fran.

Fran. Time 3.28. Compare to 15.4.2013

  • 21-15-9
  • Thrusters, 42.5kg
  • Pull-ups

No matter the feeling afterwards, a crossfitter must put all in to complete Fran every once in a while. This is a good test of muscle endurance and metabolic conditioning. The feeling afterwards is not cool. The "long burn" after Fran in the forearms is sick. For some reason today the burn wasn't as bad as it has always been. This was the fourth time I did this workout. However, my lungs are still feeling it, and it's been couple of hours already since I got it through. It's like my immunity system lowered it's protection and my lungs are worn away.

It is as simple as 21 reps of thrusters and pull-ups, then 15 reps each and finally 9 reps both movements. How simple and deceptive can a workout be. Maybe it's the combination of these two that makes it more challenging than it looks. I don't know. But I do know one thing. I PR'd my Fran time by half a minute!!! My time today was 3.28, last time it was 3.58.

I got the round of 21's unbroken on both movements. On the round of 15's thrusters went unbroken and pull-ups were 10+5. On the last round - 9's - thrusters were unbroken and pull-ups 6+3. That means to say this was the first time I got thrusters unbroken all the way from the beginning to the end. Last time I had to drop the barbell in the middle round. Pull-ups went nicely on the first round. Then on the round of 15's I had to drop after 10 reps, took a 6-7sec pause and finished the round. On the last round I got 6 reps, dropped and did the last 3 reps after resting a second or two.


The way I could do this one faster would be to cut on the transition time. Even though it feels like I don't give any slack there's still 10-15 seconds wasted in the transition. If you count it, there's 5 transitions in total so there's some time to be taken off the total time. At this stage this pace felt like it was the best I could possibly do and I'm so damned proud of it! It feels like all the work put in is paying off. These benchmark workouts are the moment of truth. They don't lie. It shows the current condition in a very straightforward way. I'm happy I was able to improve on the time this well. The progression on my Fran times in the last about 1.5 years is like this: 5.48 -> 5.31 -> 3.58 -> 3.28.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Saturday 16.11: Kettlebell action

Saturday. Metcon, emom, 15 kb swings @ 32kg, for 10 minutes. Total of 150 reps.

For a second I was thinking about taking a rest day today. That's because yesterday was a looooong day. After work I went to the gym with Toni, then straight to a theater with a bunch of colleagues. By the way it was hilarious! The show consisted of three guys talking about their lives as men and the plot was that they were shooting a film describing guys' thoughts. Good show!

Then, I came home where Pauliina was spending the evening with her friend. After couple of hours the the four of us (Pauliina's friend's fiancé tagged along) went to a Jonne Aaron gig which started at midnight. After the gig we stayed there for some time dancing. So it was over 3:00 in the morning when we returned home. Well, I tend to stay sober so that was no issue =) But still it was a fun, long and tiring day and I needed lots of sleep to get back in the game. We ate well and then it was time to workout in the evening!


  • Every minute on the minute, for 10 minutes
  • 15 kettlebell swings, 32kg
  • Total of 150 reps

This is something I recommend for everyone every once in a awhile. It's such an all-around workout. American style kettlebell swing itself is a king movement. American style means you swing it straight overhead, Russian style means eye-level swing. I always go for american style because there's more work to be done. Once you're anyway swinging, why not go all the way overhead?

First I was thinking about doing 30sec on, 30sec off. I timed how many reps I could nail in 30 seconds. The answer was 16 reps. So I figured let's do emom workout, 15 reps per minute. It took me about 28 seconds each round. I got the rounds unbroken each minute. Grip strength started to become an issue in the middle of the workout and it turned to mental workout from then on.

I decided before the workout that I'm gonna go unbroken all the way, no matter what, no matter the pain. I knew it's gonna get mental at some stage and I'll have to push through those bad thoughts about taking a short break. There's no need to have a break. Muscles can go further than the mind tries to tell. I'm happy I followed my game plan. This was a good workout!

It was quite dark in the evening, can you see anything? =)

Theater about to start!

Jonne Aaron

October stats

October stats. Important figures from October training month.

First thoughts that come in my mind after thinking about what kind of training month October was: very well-rounded month. Lots of barbell work (83k), lots of squatting, getting stronger on my legs. It was not only good month strength-wise but there was also lots of skills work and bodyweight movements. Think about my 370 hspu's and 445 pull-ups, 257 t2b's and 488 box jumps. In addition there was 20k rowing / running metcons. Good month.

Benchmark workouts.

  • Diane, 9.47 (PR)
  • Hammer, 18.45 (PR)
  • 2 x Annie, 6.26 (PR)

Hammer is always a killer. I improved my time somewhat this time. This was the second time goind after hero workout Hammer: 5 rounds of 5 power cleans, 10 front squats, 5 push jerks and 20 pull-ups. No wonder that the pull-ups are gonna make the forearms scream for honey. I managed this workout pretty well for 3 full rounds, the last 2 rounds were pure agony.

I recall one day I didn't what metcon to do so I did Annie, double unders and sit-ups. Felt like I had more energy after doing her and I wanted to practice on my du's, so I did it twice =) Got a PR also on this benchmark wod.

Strength. 83.000kg

  • Back squat, 18.000kg
  • Front squat, 14.500kg
  • Deadlift, 14.800kg

There was also several days of cleaning, jerking and clean & jerks. However, October was scheduled to increase leg strength. And I finally got a good number of squatting done, both back and front squats. Overhead squats were non existing, I compensated that with squat snatch training. Never squatted this much: 18k back squats and 14k front squats, total of 32.000kg squatting in one month. I took different type of training approaches: traditional sets of 3's and 5's, eccentric squats, emom squats and ladders.


  • 144 pistols
  • 1.150 double unders
  • 370 handstand push-ups
  • 25 muscle-ups

Most importantly, 370 handstand push-ups, boom! I struggled with hspu's for a long time early in my crossfit "career" but then I decided to work that movement as my strength. And I've done exactly that. In short time period I've learned to do them effectively, and most importantly, a great load of them in metcons. For example I cut about 6 minutes of my Diane time, that desribes the progress pretty well. And I added the load of hspu's only in September and October.

I've wrote a couple of times that I need to work on my double under technique. Have no problems in completing those jumps but there is room for better efficiency. So I've had a moderate increase in the du training. Those muscle-ups are still something I need to work on. I went to do 20 reps in a row one day in mid-October and suffered from knee pain for about 2 weeks after that. Note to self: get better at them.


  • 211 burpees
  • 445 pull-ups
  • 257 t2b
  • 488 box jumps

Okay, there could have been much more of dips (96), push-ups (150) and burpees last month. However, I compensated those with these above mentioned movements, quite a number of pull-ups, once again. Almost 500 box jumps is a lot. Those seem to vary a lot in my training. Take a look at last 4 months numbers: 100, 245, 54 and 488 reps =D. Huge differences there. Completing huge loads of boxes and double unders make my shins sore so it's a delicate balancing issue not to do too much of them. On average there's been over 430 pull-ups each month for the last 6 months so this number falls in nicely to that average.

Cardio. 20.000m

Couple of rowing and running metcons added up to 20km of "cardio" work as I've named this category. One running set was on a treadmill, once outdoors, once indoors. Rowing sets were around 2.700m per set. Couple of interval rowing and couple of metcons with rowing included as an element.


  • Clean & jerk, 95kg
  • Jerk, 100kg 

I tried for these two personal records and I got them. Seeking for those 1 rep maxes hasn't been my cup of tea in the past months but in November I took a few attempts and got a couple of PR's. I'll recap that later on. Anyway, I went to Eltsu with my bro one beautiful day in October for olympic lifting purposes and we both nailed some PR's there. That was a good combo: bro and Eltsu, and records are made to be broken.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday 15.11: Skills and technique

Friday. Active work. Skills, 200-300 double unders. Row 2x500m full throttle. 4x15 burpees. Mobility and technique in hang power snatch and overhead squats.

I had no plan entering the gym. The only thing I knew it's gonna be a light day, my upper body is aching and it's been about a month since last rest day so this was a good call I suppose. Still, I wanted to put my heart do some work so there were some double unders, rowing and burpees involved. Some pure technique and mobility with barbell finished the training session. Toni and Joni tagged along for the workouts.

Chad Vaughn

Skills. Double unders. We did sets of 20 reps with Toni, alternating turns, simply to warm-up and focus on skills. After 5 rounds Toni dared to challenge completing max reps double unders. The reps varied between 20 and 47 reps so hard to say what was the total number of reps.

I believe my form was good. I focused strongly in keeping my torso straight, trying to be as effective as possible. I still didn't tape it so I don't know how it really looks like but I tried to check it from the mirror while jumping. Looked solid in my opinion. Good job.

Row / Burpees. My intention was to do 5 rounds of 500m row and 15 burpees, just for completion, not for time. My pace on the rower was 1.39 on the first round and 1.43 on the second one. Then some guy came and took over the rower while I was doing my burpees. Nice… So I had to skip rowing and focus on burpees. Held a pause between burpee sets. Total of 60 reps of burpees and 1k row rather fast.

Mobility. In the end I did a lot of mobility stuff with barbell. Just empty bar, 20kg. I've watched Annie Thorisdottir, Fredrik Aegidius and Chad Vaughn in Instagram and got inspiration to work on hang snatch pull and hang snatch sets, focusing on bar path. Then today's post of "Olychad" got me working towards improved mobility on overhead squats. Take a look at the picture above, that's freaking sick! His mobility is from another planet. Working towards that as well, some day…

Take a look at the boys doing some squat clean in the videos above. Toni and Joni are playing star roles in the videos.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thursday 14.11: Back squats, clean complex

Thursday. Back squats, 3 x 10 (100-110kg). Clean complex, 6 sets of: hang power clean, hang squat clean, power clean, squat clean (60-70kg).

Today was metcon free day of training. Instead, I worked towards stronger legs and improving my explosiveness on the cleans through a 4-rep complex. Got my sweat on the shirt pretty easily due to the nature of both of the workouts. Squats were exceptionally high-reps.

Strength. Back squats 3x10 (100, 105, 110kg). This was great! Should have added some weight in the early steps. The last sets was as though as it should have been. After having done 3 sets my legs were done and it was impossible to add more weight on the bar. Not that I would have done it anyway, my plan was to hit 3 sets already in the beginning.

It was a different type of challenge. Got to try this out some other time as well. it's good to keep constant variety in the squat training and every training session to be frank. I was thinking between eccentric squats and 10-rep max. Ended up in this workout, not a 10-rep max but heavy-ish and heavy sets.

Complex. Clean complex x 6 sets

  • 1 hang power clean
  • 1 hang squat clean
  • 1 power clean from ground
  • 1 squat clean from ground
  • 1x60, 3x65, 1x70, 1x60kg

This was something between technique and strength and muscle endurance. The weights were light consider the last 3 movements. The first was obviously the heaviest one, hang clean from pocket. As you see from the video, I don't bring the bar that down on my thighs or below knee. It's more like from high hang or pocket as they might say.

This was easily managed strength wise. It was more like trying to complete good reps and finding correct bar path in different types of cleans. It took me 9 minutes to complete 6 sets of the complex. In addition I took 2 various sets before kicking this on. All in that 9 minute time cap. So it didn't take too long to finish it and rest between sets.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wednesday 13.11: push press emom, 2012 Open wod 12.3

Wednesday. Push press emom, 3 reps @ 70-75kg, for 10 minutes. Metcon, 2012 CF Open 12.3. Result 7 rounds + 15 box.

My shoulders are killing me! There was somewhere around 7.000kg push presses today in total. No wonder my shoulders were getting numb towards the end. First, a perfect shoulder strength workout: every minute on the minute presses. Then I took a metcon from the past, this was last year's Crossfit Open's workout number 3, an 18 minute amrap.

Strength. Press emom
  • Every minute on the minute, for 10 minutes
  • 3 reps, push press
  • 3x70, 3x72.5, 4x75kg

I love this one. Presses and jerks in general are awesome tools to increase shoulder strength and this specific one has really improved my strength levels and technique this year. Plus, it puts focus on metabolic conditioning at the same time.

So there were 3 reps per minute. For the first 3 minutes I had 70kg on the bar, then I added it to 72.5kg and for the last 4 minutes there were 75kg on the barbell. Push jerk was not allowed, this was clearly a push press movement. The last reps were tougher and needed good concentration to get them done. I had no doubt in my mind about getting the reps done. The weights were correct for me this time.

Metcon. Result 7 rounds + 15 box
  • 18 min amrap of:
  • 15 box jumps
  • 12 push press, 52.5kg
  • 9 toes-to-bar

I'm telling you, bouncing that barbell up and down 84 times after having done a tough push press emom… It's gonna get to you. Start with 15 box jumps, then 12 push presses @ 115lbs, barbell laying on the ground. You have clean it for the first time each round. No rack allowed. I've done this workout once before. Then, I used rack and my box jumps were not completed along Games standards. I remember utilizing a technique where I jumped off the box even though I had not straightened my entire body on top of the box. I straightened it after having jumped off the box (while on air, over the box). That is not the Games standard. You must stop on top of the box, have your torso in a perfect vertical alignment and then jump down again. Otherwise it's a "no-rep".

So I've improved my standards this year greatly and the movements are following the Games. I don't want to do half reps at all. Don't want to catch myself on a video and doing something I can't be proud of.

This workout has a cruel nature. I did everything unbroken which surprised myself. Prior to the wod I thought the box jumps would start becoming the issue because of the high-rep number. The barbell was not that heavy so I reckoned it's not gonna be any factor. Hmm, how wrong did I think about this… Of course it's gonna start becoming heavy, there's 12 reps in a row every round! After 3 rounds it needed my full attention to get them done without breaks. I tried to stick along that game plan for as long as possible. Try to go unbroken because if you drop the bar, it's gonna be so much tougher to get it back up. At least there would be time consumed in vain.

Box jumps fired my legs up, no doubt about it. It was challenging as legs were screaming and lungs were trying to catch breath. T2b's were maybe the easiest part of this all. It took some time to recover after the push presses, before I was able to grab on the pull-up bar.

This was crossfit at it's best. Really, my guts were burning from inside, it was difficult to get breath and muscles were going numb because of all the work being done. There's a strong mental side of this all. I'm able to do these movements unbroken so it's the time between action that makes the difference. No wonder this was Crossfit Open workout. Great programming from Dave Castro =) The workout included 120 box, 84 presses and 63 t2b's.

Take a look at Toni's new PR, 100kg split jerk from rack. Congrats man!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tuesday 12.11: Hspu, snatch technique

Tuesday. Metcon, death by hspu. Result, 8 rds + 7 reps. Technique, snatch complex: 6 sets of: hang power snatch, hang squat snatch, squat snatch from below the knee, 3 ohs.

Today was reserved for bodyweight skills and olympic lifting technique training. Tomorrow should be more of a strength / metcon type of stuff. It was a good decision to work on the technique plus hspu skills.

Metcon. Result 8 rounds + 7 reps. Total of 43 reps.
  • Death by handstand push-ups

Oh boy, it's been a while since last "death by" training. I've done one probably only two times. Once with clean & jerks a year ago and snatches in the spring time. It's a perfect way to combine strength and conditioning at the same time. The point in death by is to put the timer running, complete 1 rep on the 1st minute, 2 reps on the 2nd minute. Continue as long as you can follow the rep scheme. At some point there's no time to do as many reps as required. Today it was the 9th round for me.

Today it felt easy for several minutes. I did the reps unbroken up to 8 minutes. On the 9th round I had to take a break after 5 reps. After 5sec I went back on the wall but the recovery was so short I could nail anything but singles. Got to 2 reps short of a full 9 rounds. Total of 43 reps.

The wall hit me fast when it showed it's face for the first time. It was easy up to 6 reps, maybe even 7 reps. On the 8th round I had to do work to get the reps unbroken. Plus, the recovery after doing so many reps was shorter than on the earlier rounds so that was the reason the 9th round tended to be so challenging. Still, I'm happy on the way I got through this one. 43 reps was good.

Technique. Snatch complex
  • 6 sets of the following complex
  • 1 hang power snatch
  • 1 hang squat snatch
  • 1 squat snatch from below the knee
  • 3 overhead squats
  • All sets @ 40kg barbell

My decision on the snatches was to put light weight on and work on technique. I wanted to do different types of snatches and overhead squats. Focusing on correct bar path and range of motion. This was rather good play with the bar. I have lots of repetitions ahead of me before the bar goes up and down the way I'd like to. Fortunately I know that it's just a matter or working more.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday 11.11: Rowing, pull-ups, t2b

Metcon. Every 2min: 250m row and alternately 10 pull-ups / t2b / k2e, for a total of 9 sets (18min).

Bodyweight stuff, rowing combined with action at the pull-up bar. My upper body is crashed from the weekend's pull-ups and push-ups (150 reps both) and legs are freaking sensitive after squatting almost 8.000kg yesterday. So it was time to sit on the rower and start working my ass off!

Metcon. In 18min, 2.250m rowing with 30 pull-ups, 30 t2b and 30 k2e.

  • Every 2 minutes for a total of 9 sets.
  • First 3 sets: 250m row, then 10 pull-ups (750m row, 30 pull-ups in 6min)
  • Next 3 sets: 250m row, then 10 toes-to-bar  (750m row, 30 t2b in 6min)
  • Last 3 sets: 250m row, then 10 knees-to-elbows (750m row, 30 k2e in 6min)

Difficult to put it in writing but I hope you follow me =) Idea was to start a new set every 2 minutes. Each set started with rowing 250 meters. After rowing that distance you have to do 10 reps of one bodyweight movement for 10 reps. For first 3 sets (6min) the movement was pull-ups, then the next 3 sets (6-12min) it was t2b and the last 3 min (12-18min) it was k2e. A total of 2.250m rowing and 30 reps each bodyweight movement.

I kept a balanced pace of 1.40-1.43 with the rowing machine. Then walked easily at the pull-up bar and did my reps, unbroken all the way. Then walked back to see my timer which said there's about 30+ seconds to wait for the next 2min set to start. I kept the rowing pace the same and did the movements unbroken so the time frame remained the same for the entire 18 minutes. It was just the heavy breathing that got a little faster towards the end. Abs started to feel it as rowing plus those t2b's and k2e's are all putting stress on the core. So this workout included a breath catching moment after pull-up bar action had been done. A little different than regularly.

I was able to keep the pace on the rower on a smooth pace and there was just a little variation between sets. This was a good and simple workout even though it looks complex on paper. It was a good metcon in its pure nature. The main purpose was to get blood flowing, heart pumping and lungs providing air. I succeeded in that goal.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday 10.11: squat emom, 15min amrap

Sunday. Strength, back squat emom, 3 reps (100-110kg), for 9min. Metcon, 15mi  amrap of: 8 back squat (60kg), 20 du, 5 hspu. Result, 9 rds + 8 squats.

Time to squat! This time it was emom training, good way to increase strength and conditioning simultaneously. Then I did a metcon I stole from Pony, this one was their affiliate's workout of the day.

Strength. Back squat, every minute on the minute.
  • 3 reps per min, for 9 minutes
  • 3x100, 3x105, 3x110kg

Very solid performance. Guess I should add the stakes on the squat emoms, these weights moved pretty nicely down and back up, each minute. I did 3minutes with 100kg, then 3min @ 105kg and finally 3min @ 110kg. Suppose there's no other way but to add a few kilos on the barbell. It got my heart pumping just like an emom is supposed to, loved it! The load was nice but as I look at the reps on video, it looks like there could have been more stuff hanging on the bar.

Recap of the squats

Metcon. Result 9 rds + 8 squats
  • 8 back squat, 60kg
  • 20 double unders
  • 5 handstand push-ups

I can't see myself programming a workout with 60kg on back squats. In anyway possible. However, Toni messaged me their workout of the day in the morning and as I wasn't sure about the metcon I had planned to do, I decided to think about it. For a while I thought about adding more weight on the squats (80kg) but then I saw myself doing this wod and realized the nature behind this workout is a traditional crossfit ideology. The movements were not tough, not heavy and you're supposed to keep on moving no matter how it feels. As you see on the round times I was able to maintain an exceptionally solid pace throughout the 15 minutes. All movements were done unbroken. There was a 10 meter distance between my barbell and "hspu station". There is only one place at the gym where you can do hspu's against a wall. The devices and mirrors are on the way otherwise.

There was a good number of reps, 80 squats @ 60kg, 180 du's and 45 handstand push-ups. The most important thing was that I was able to keep going without breaks. Very good!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Saturday 9.11: Pull-ups and push-ups

Saturday. Metcon, 15 rounds of: 10 pull-ups and 10 push-ups.

We are getting a new bed today at home, the delivery company is bringing it 3-4 weeks after purchase. So there was a small time cap to do a morning workout together with my lady at the gym. There was still a slight smell in the hallways that I talked about yesterday but this time the gym was odor-free =) It was difficult to get my body ready for the metcon but once I got it, the workout rolled on smoothly.


  • 15 rounds of:
  • 10 pull-ups
  • 10 push-ups

I was looking to do 10 rounds of the couplet. However, it felt good so I decided to upgrade it to 15 rounds on the fly. Total of 150 reps both moves. I did both of them unbroken each round, that pleased me a lot. Okay, there wasn't that many reps per round but considering the total amount could have brought some issues. And I felt like I could have continued unbroken further. I was tempted to do couple of extra rounds but we had to run back home.

Both movements were a steady performance, no misses, no no-reps, no nothing negative. It went very well actually! Haven't done push-ups in a long time, a good basic movement and worth doing continuously. I suppose my triceps have also become stronger because of huge loads of handstand push-ups. I left the gym with a smile on my face, this was a good training day.

Recap of the workout